DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Sex, Crime

Copperfield: Shelve Sex Suit

Citing ongoing criminal probe, magician seeks legal stay

David Copperfield

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Copperfield Wants Sex Suit Shelved

OCTOBER 1--Citing a pending criminal investigation into a woman's claim that he sexually assaulted her on a Bahamian island, magician David Copperfield will ask a federal judge to temporarily shelve a personal injury lawsuit filed recently by the alleged victim.

In a U.S. District Court filing, Copperfield acknowledged that "there is an ongoing federal criminal investigation being conducted" by Department of Justice prosecutors in Washington state. That probe is examining allegations leveled against Copperfield by a 22-year-old Seattle model who charges that, in 2007, the performer lured her to his private island, where he repeatedly assaulted her.

In late-July, the woman filed a lawsuit against Copperfield, 53, detailing the incidents (TSG has redacted her name from court documents since she is the alleged victim of a sex assault). In a September 25 filing, a copy of which you'll find here, the performer indicated that he will soon file a motion to stay the woman's complaint on due process grounds: "Defendant will argue that this litigation should not proceed while a federal criminal investigation involving the same acts alleged in plaintiff's complaint is ongoing."

FBI agents and prosecutors have been investigating Copperfield for more than two years. (2 pages)